Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo

This historic square is home to an imposing Gothic church and the Scuola Grande di San Marco, as well as an important 15th century equestrian statue.

TravelCurious Tip

There is a remarkable, if rather grisly, relic housed in a glass case in the Santi Giovanni e Paolo – the 700-year-old preserved foot of Saint Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of nurses.

The attractive Campo Santi Giovanni e Pablo boasts no fewer than three important Venetian attractions, firmly establishing its status as a must-see location for visitors to Venice. Dominating the square on its eastern side is the powerfully built Gothic church for which the campo is named. Consecrated in 1430, it houses the tombs of no fewer than 25 doges, together with other Venetians of note, earning it the nickname “The Pantheon of Venice”. Though its mighty fronting certainly commands attention, the interior is more striking still, with a particularly lovely polyptych altarpiece by Giovanni Bellini.

More Than Just a Façade

On the northern edge of the square sits the stunning Scuola Grande di San Marco, whose gorgeous façade, one of the finest in Italy, is the combined work of three of the 15th and 16th centuries’ greatest architects. Intricately decorated in gleaming white marble, the façade’s unmistakable Renaissance flavor is given a distinctively Byzantine twist with its abundance of arches and niches, a combination of styles which is typically Venetian.

Doge-y Deals

Standing proudly at the campo’s centre is a statue of Bartolomeo Colleone atop his horse - Venice’s only equestrian monument. Colleone was a mercenary commander who had fought bravely for the Venetians on many occasions, eventually becoming a rich man. He agreed to bequeath his fortune back to the city on the proviso that a statue of him be erected in St. Mark’s Square. The authorities, cunning to the last and with no intention of erecting a statue to anyone in their main piazza, simply took the money after his death, and placed the statue here instead.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Venice
Campo Santa Maria Formosa
A lovely neighbourhood square surrounded by narrow alleyways and Gothic buildings, barely changed since the time of Canaletto.
Rialto Bridge
Venice’s busiest and most iconic bridge, the Rialto gives visitors a wonderful view of the Grand Canal.
Rialto Fish Market
This traditional fish market, located right by the Grand Canal, offers a wide variety of fresh fish that marvels both locals and tourists. You can find squid, spider crabs and even moeche, straight from the Venetian lagoon.
Rialto Vegetable & Fruit Market
Explore the colours and scents of fresh produce at the Rialto fruit and vegetable market that marvels both locals and tourists.
Marco Polo's House
Believed to have been the residence of the world famous explorer and his family, the ancient Corte del Milion is a must see for adventure lovers.
Torre dell' Orologio
The clock tower is an early Renaissance building on the north side of St. Mark's Square.

Related Tours

St. Marks Basilica & Doge's Palace: Private Venice Half-Day Tour
If this is your first time visiting Venice, this is half-day tour is the perfect experience to discover two of the city’s must-see sites: St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, and to explore the best of the city of canals in a short amount of time.

On your private half-day tour, you will:

  • Step into St Mark’s Basilica, the cathedral of Venice built to house the remains of St. Mark's, and famously decorated with shimmering mosaics;
  • Explore the magnificent buildings of St. Mark's Square, including the Renaissance St. Mark's Clocktower, and St. Mark's Campanile, the  tallest structure in Venice and one of the city's most recognisable symbols;
  • Visit the Doge’s Palace, built in Venetian gothic style, the former residence of the Doge and the seat of the Venetian government;
  • Learn about the sophisticated ruling system of the Republic of Venice as you stand in the opulent Chamber of the Great Council, one of the largest rooms in Europe,  decorated by some of Venice's most famous artists such as Gentile da FabrianoBellini and Titan;
  •  Walk in the footsteps of condemned Venetians, as you cross the Bridge of Sighs that connects the Doge's Palace interrogation rooms to the New Prison; 
  • Enjoy a leisurely walk through Venice, step off the beaten tourist path and explore magnificent Campi (squares) and charming alleys and often missed gems, like the Aqua Alta Library, the house of Marco Polo, and the Church of Miracles;
  • Cross the Rialto Bridge, Venice's oldest and most famous bridge, and end your tour with magnificent views of the Grand Canal.

Your tour begins with a wow – at the heart of the world-famous St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space, this square is enclosed by the stunning St Mark’s Basilica and the absolutely magnificent Doge’s Palace, both of which you will visit with your private guide. 

The Doge Palace was built in 812 and is celebrated as one of the best examples of Venetian Gothic architecture in the city. Right next to the Doge’s Palace in St Mark’s Basilica, deemed an icon of Italian art and culture; it is indeed one of the city’s top highlights. 

Then, your guide will take you off the beaten path for a leisurely stroll as you head towards Venice’s most iconic bridge - the Rialto. Famous for being the oldest bridge to cross the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops. 

After walking across this fantastic bridge, your tour will end with magnificent views of the Grand Canal where your guide will give you great recommendations for the best food spots during your stay.
Venice Legends and Mysteries: Private 2-hour Evening Walking Tour
Enjoy exploring a lesser-known side of Venice as you venture through its myths and mysteries on this private evening walking tour.

On your private 2-hour tour, you will:

  • Explore Venice in the evening, at its quietest and most mysterious, as your guide expertly navigates you through winding alleys and dimly lit squares; 
  • Hear dark the story of Biasio the Buther of Venice, a murderer who cooked his victims in soups to hide their corpses;
  • Walk past the Anatomy Theatre of Venice which opened in 1671 and was used to dissect cadavers;
  • Learn of the bull hunting games and Venice Carnival in Campo San Polo, one of the most popular carnival locations;
  • Explore the Castelletto area, the ancient Venetian Red Light District;
  • Get acquainted with the real stories and legends surrounding Giacomo Casanova, an Italian adventurer known as the most famous lover in history who escaped from prison multiple times;
  • See several of the city’s highlights, including the Rialto Bridge that crosses the Grand Canal, the largest and most famous canal in Venice that separates the city in half;
  • Hear tales of the Ghost of the Rialto Bridge and a ghostly pet that roams St. Mark's Square;
  • End your tour in St. Mark’s Square, as you take in the magnificent play of lights of the Piazza at night, truly a magical experience;

This tour takes you off the beaten path, into the shadier stories of the city's legendary past, even as you explore several of the city’s highlights, like the Campo San Polo, Rialto Bridge, St Mark’s Square, and the Grand Canal, along with other spots off-the-beaten-track, including the Venetian red light district. 

Along your tour, you will uncover answers to questions like: where did the "hangman" live? Who was the "Biasio" of Venice? Who was "Casanova"? Where are the ghosts' palaces, and who was the "Doctor of the Plague"? On your night out, your guide will be sure that you do not find yourself lost in the hidden mazes of the city.

Though we can't give away many details regarding this mysterious tour, we can say with certainty that it is riddled with excitement and intrigue, and is a great way to explore the city outside the heat of the day with a private guide! 

Please note: this tour can be amended in advance to be friendly for children. Please notify us in advance of the tour if you wish for the stories to be told in a kid-friendly way! 
The Best of Venice: Private Tour including St Mark’s Basilica
Discover the best of "La Serenissima" and immerse yourself in a Venice that is not just gondolas, but a city of canals with many grand palaces such as Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), unique museums and impressive churches like St. Mark's Basilica.

On your private tour, you will:

  • Explore the famous Rialto Markets and take a stroll down the famed fish market of Venice, which has been taking place here for nearly 1000 years;
  • Cross over the iconic Rialto Bridge, designed by the architect "Anthony of the Bridge" in the late 1500s, and take in spectacular views of Venice's Grand Canal;
  • Step away from the main tourist path to enjoy some of the city's best sights, such as the gem-like Church of Miracles and quaint Aqua Alta Library, self-proclaimed the "most beautiful bookstore in the world";
  • Take a stroll down Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, one of Venice's most important squares;
  • Admire the Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo, one of the biggest churches in Venice and the official church for the funerals of the Venetian Doges;
  • Marvel at the magnificent Renaissance facade of the Scola Grande di San Marco, originally the home of a major Venetian confraternity, and today the city's hospital;
  • See the Equestrian Statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni, the first of its kind standing on three feet;
  • Admire the iconic view of the Venice lagoon from the waterfront promenade of the Riva Degli Schiavoni;
  • Stop by the Doge's Palace, the seat of the government of the Venetian Republic, known as "The Most Serene Republic of Venice", which existed for 1100 years and was once the greatest naval power in Europe;
  • Stand in awe of St. Mark's Square and the 99-meter-high Campanile (bell tower) of St. Mark's, once a lighthouse to guide ships;
  • Enjoy a guided tour inside St. Mark's Basilica, the former political and religious centre of the Republic of Venice, magnificently decorated with golden mosaics completed in the 12th century.

Trace the city’s fascinating beginnings, learn about its failed defence against the plague and unearth its dark secrets. Your journey will take you through Venice’s grandest central district. The architecture is sublime, the excitement rejuvenating and the atmosphere unique. 

You will begin your tour walking towards Venice’s pre-eminent bridge- Rialto Bridge. Famous for being the oldest bridge on the Grand Canal, its arcade full of small souvenir shops is the best place to buy beautiful Venetian masks and feathers. 

Your private guide will give you the history of the markets, as they have been operating for over seven centuries. Stroll around the bustling Rialto Markets, a picturesque shop primarily selling fish and vegetables. Take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the market.

Venture through the most magical streets and canals of San Marco, and pass the iconic St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space, this square is enclosed by the astonishing St Mark’s Basilica and the magnificent Doge’s Palace. 

You will see the Doge’s Palace, built-in 812, which is one of the best examples of Venetian gothic architecture. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is St. Mark's Basilica with its gold mosaics and many domes will also be sure to capture your attention. 

Your tour will finish with tickets and a tour of St Mark’s Basilica. Your guide will take you on a tour of the historic Basilica, deemed to be an icon of Italian art and culture. 

Please note that St. Mark's Basilica is an active church and can be subject to unforeseen closures due to religious reasons. In cases of closure, you will be given alternative touring options.
Welcome to Venice: Private 2-hour Introductory Walking tour
Explore the best of Venice and see "The City of Canals" most popular highlights on this private 2-hour introduction tour with a professional tour guide, who will take you to on a journey to discover one of Italy's more picturesque and romantic cities. 

On your private tour, you will:

  • Explore the Rialto area, famed for its markets and of course the iconic Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge crossing the Grand Canal;
  • Navigate through Venice's maze of "calle" streets and canals with the expertise of your tour guide;
  • See Marco Polo’s house, and Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church, often described as the "Marble church" and "treasure chest" due to its precious marble decorations;
  • Stop in Campo San Giovanni e Paolo to hear about the "Scuole Grandi" (great schools) of Venice, confraternities founded in the late 13th century, as welfare and religious institutions that resembled present-day lobbies;
  • Walk along the Venetian lagoon waterfront and marvel at the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the interrogation rooms of Doge's Palace to the New Prison;
  • Learn of the Venetian Doges and the city's complex - and modern - ruling system as you take in the majesty of the Doge's Palace, the seat of the Venetian Government;
  • End your tour in the famed St. Mark's Square, the only "piazza" in Venice and learn the fascinating story of how St. Mark's body was brought to Venice and laid to rest in St. Mark's Basilica.

Trace the city’s fascinating beginnings, learn about its failed defence against the plague and unearth its dark secrets. 

You will begin your tour by visiting Venice's Rialto neighbourhood. Take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the local markets before crossing the Rialto Bridge. Famous for being the oldest bridge on the Grand Canal. 

Venture through the magical streets and canals of Venice, step off the beaten tourist path to uncover the quieter side of the city, and end the tour in the iconic St Mark’s Square. Probably one of Italy’s most iconic locations and Venice’s largest urban open space, this square is enclosed by the astonishing St Mark’s Basilica and the magnificent Doge’s Palace. 

You will see the Doge’s Palace, built-in 812, which is one of the best examples of Venetian gothic architecture. Right next to the Doge’s Palace is another superb building that will be sure to capture your attention! 



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